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Doctor Aphra #35 Review

4 min read
I'm continuing to fear the Dark Droids storyline in general but the team here absolutely nails a strong way to deal with it

“Mad Methods”

Creative Staff:
Story: Alyssa Wong
Art: Minkyu Jung
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

What They Say:
LEGACY ISSUE #75! A DARK DROIDS TIE-IN! Sent by DOMINA TAGGE to investigate a series of strange droid malfunctions, DOCTOR APHRA faces a deadly enemy from the past. A horde of CLONE WAR-ERA PROTOTYPE BATTLE DROIDS designed by Domina herself!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Alyssa Wong has had some solid material with Doctor Aphra overall but a lot of the way it’s unfolded, and had to deal with the tie-in storyline as well, just didn’t work for me. We got some good stuff after getting past The Spark stuff but here we are again, thrust into another crossover event with the already problematic Dark Droids. This issue has Minkyu Jung still on board for the artwork and it works pretty well. There are definitely differences from other artists in the series and it doesn’t quite have the Marvel Star Wars “house” brand design. There’s some solid detail here and Rachelle Rosenberg’s color design helps to give it a bit more weight and continuity with the bulk of the rest of the Star Wars books.

Thankfully, as much as I’ve disliked the Dark Droids storyline so far, Wong has figured out a good path to work with. The central idea to it is that there are some old Clone Wars era Separatist droids that were unearthed by some criminals to try and sell but one instead turned on and killed them. Domina Tagge has reacquired it and the discovery that it has no power cell and was able to do that is obviously concerning. What we learn is that her parents were Separatists and made an early bid to try and create the droid army that was used and this prototype design, which saw some mass manufacture, was of Domina’s design when she was a child. So there’s something personal for her in all of this beyond just the surprise of a powerless droid activating. And the fact that she’s got a whole other warehouse of them on some other remote world under lock and key as well.

One thing I like about the Aphra books that the others don’t really delve into all that often is the more “adult” nature of it. While Domina sets Aphra to the task of checking out the other facility, she also sets up another arrangement with her that results in a good time in bed. This is complicated for a lot of reasons that Lucky points out the next morning, but it’s part of Aphra’s self-destructive nature as well. She’s trying to forget about Sana for the moment and even after kind of fixing things recently in general with others, she’s still prone to going in this bad direction. But it’s just good to see actual relationships play out in various ways and Domina in particular fits that cold hard player type that’s all about her work and efficiently making sure that her other needs are met in a way that won’t impact her core ambitions.

In Summary:
I’m continuing to fear the Dark Droids storyline in general but the team here absolutely nails a strong way to deal with it and to bring in some intriguing stuff that fits the Aphra model of being about the past. I really like when this series touches on some Clone Wars era stuff and even before it with what we get here and it adds to Domina’s story pretty well too. Aphra in self-destructive mode and going to party and sleep around more after starting up a dangerous relationship with Domina only adds to how she’s handling everything and it’ll be interesting to see if the fallout is as bad as it should be. There’s a lot to like here even if I’m very, very, wary of the larger event unfolding.

Grade: B

Age Rating: 9+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: August 23rd, 2023
MSRP: $3.99